Business events set to bring in a record-setting R1bn, boosting jobs

6 May 2024 | SANews

The Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau, at the Western Cape’s tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, Wesgro, has secured 30 new bids for the province in the last financial year (April 2023 – March 2024).

Speaking to the impact that these business events will have on the economy of the Western Cape, Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, said “For the first time in the history of Wesgro’s Convention Bureau, the economic impact of the business events  secured exceeds the R1bn mark, reaching an estimated economic impact of R1,029bn (R 1 028 928 000). This is fantastic news for the province and more so for the many jobs across hospitality, food and beverage services and tourism sector that the thousands of delegates attending these conferences and meetings will support.”

The bids which have been secured will fill the event pipeline for the province into 2029. Some of the larger scale conferences secured include the World Congress of Public Health, hosted by the World Federation of Public Health Associations in September 2026, and the International Botanical Congress in July 2029.  These conferences will be attended by 4 000 delegates each and will be held in the Western Cape’s traditionally low tourism season.

The province will also host the World Congress of Family Doctors 2027 and the World Congress of Neurology, with an expected 3,500 delegates in 2027.

CEO of Wesgro, Wrenelle Stander, stated, “What makes the Western Cape stand out is its commitment to creating an environment conducive to international events. The region boasts top-notch venues like the Century City Conference Centre and the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), which recently underwent an expansion to become one of Africa’s premier conference venues.”

“In total, between 2013 and 2022, Cape Town hosted 405 international association meetings and Stellenbosch hosted 84, which attracted an estimated delegate attendance of just over 225 000 delegates,” continued Minister Wenger.

“As part of the Western Cape Government’s economic action plan, we are determined to double the number of tourists to the Western Cape by 2035 but also to encourage visitors to stay longer, spend more and spread economic benefits throughout the province. Securing more business events, both large and small, will certainly help to achieve this ambitious target, supporting and enabling the creation of many more jobs in the Western Cape,” Minister Wenger concluded.

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